Orphagen Pharmaceuticals announced today that Gönül Veliçelebi, Founder and CEO of CalciMedica, has been appointed to the Board of Directors.

“Dr. Veliçelebi’s extensive experience in drug discovery and development, entrepreneurism and corporate strategy will be invaluable as Orphagen advances several first-in-class small molecule programs towards strategic partnerships,” said Orphagen Founder and CEO, Scott Thacher. “I welcome Dr. Veliçelebi and look forward to working with her during this exciting time for Orphagen.”
Dr. Veliçelebi’s successful career spans almost 30 years and includes prominent roles in industry and academia. Prior to CalciMedica, she was Vice President of Research and Drug Discovery at TorreyPines Therapeutics, responsible for all discovery programs, preclinical development of gamma-secretase modulators and the discovery of CCE modulators and STIM1. Before joining TorreyPines Therapeutics, Dr. Velicelebi was Vice President of Research at MitoKor and Director of Cell Biology at SIBIA Neurosciences. Dr. Veliçelebi has published extensively in peer-reviewed journals and is an inventor on more than 35 patents and patent applications. In 1998, the Scientific and Technical Research Council of the Turkish Republic (TUBITAK) awarded her the esteemed Science Career Achievement Award in Health Sciences. Dr. Veliçelebi received her Ph.D. in biophysical chemistry from Yale University, and completed her postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard University.

About Orphagen – Orphagen discovers drug candidates for potential drug targets for which small molecule ligands–potential drug-like molecules–have yet to be identified. Its goal is to identify, characterize, and position a new class of drug so that pre-clinical and clinical development can be initiated with partners and/or outside sources of funding. These targets come from the nuclear receptor family of drug targets. On a per target basis, the nuclear receptors are one of the most successful target classes known to the pharmaceutical industry. Targets of interest to Orphagen encompass several of the so-called orphan nuclear receptors—potential therapeutic receptors that have yet to be exploited by the pharmaceutical industry.

For more information, contact: Scott Thacher (858) 481-6191